Feidin Santana, the 23-year-old man who caught the murder of Walter Scott on his cell phone camera as he was passing by in North Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, has now spoken out about the ordeal and what instigated him to begin filming the incident as it unraveled.
Santana appeared on several news talk shows to describe the events that occurred on Saturday afternoon, including MSNBC's Morning Joe and TODAY with Matt Lauer. Santana was walking to his job when he saw a police officer, Michael Slager, 33, in pursuit of 50-year-old Walter Scott. He saw the officer chase after Scott, after which Santana decided to hang up his phone call and begin filming. Via NBC News:
“I was hearing the Taser sound,” he said, “and the yelling of Mr. Scott, and that’s when I decided to do the recording.”
He told NBC News that at first the two men were on the ground.
“I remember the police [officer] had control of the situation,” he said. “He had control of Scott. And Scott was trying just to get away from the Taser. But like I said, he never used the Taser against the cop.”
On NBC Nightly News, Feidin told host Lester Holt that after capturing the shooting on video, he knew that he had "something on his hands." Though Feidin initially went to the police with the video, they told him to wait, and he decided to instead pass the video onto the attorneys of the family of Walter Scott. As he tells Holt in this clip, "Mr. Scott didn't deserve this."
In an interview with TODAY's Matt Lauer, Feidin explained that after the clip was released, he has now begun to fear for his life.
"I felt that my life, with this information, might be in danger. I thought about erasing the video and just getting out of the community, you know Charleston, and living some place else," the 23-year-old [told Chris Hayes]. "I knew the cop didn't do the right thing." [...]
"I say life changed in a matter of seconds. I never thought this would happen, that I would be a witness," he told TODAY's Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview Thursday. "I'm still scared."
On Morning Joe, when asked how he found the courage to film the shooting, especially as police officer Slager turned and looked directly at him, Santana said he believed god put him there for a reason. Via the Washington Post:
Asked how he summoned up the courage to shoot the footage in full view of police, he said on “Morning Joe:” “I don’t know what happened to me at that moment to be honest. I’m a great believer in God. Maybe he put me there for some reason.”